As I said in my preview I thought this would be a nice game for UNC to work on a few things and ritually abuse some poor team in an effort to get everyone more comfortable with the system. In other words this was the kind of dominance we thought we would see from UNC, though it should be noted Gardner Webb is a special kind of bad having lose six seniors from the team that took UNC to the brink in the 2005-06 opener.
The freshman dominated this game, which is why it was a good game for the team in general in terms of getting everyone on the same page. Brandan Wright had 21 points and nine rebounds while Wayne Ellington had 19 points on 8-10 shooting. Ty Lawson chipped in nine along with Reyshawn Terry who also had nine boards and two blocked shots. I am getting the feeling that Terry will do far more in terms of the little things like blocking shots and grabbing rebounds with the occasional offensive outburst or nailing a big shot.
On the negative side UNC turned the ball over 21 times which probably should not be the case against a team like Gardner Webb. Still it is early and I have to think that at some point Ty Lawson will stop giving the ball up four or five times a game. This leads to an interesting issue. There are many UNC fans who are hell bent on Ty Lawson being the starting point guard right now because he is so extremely talented. And there really is no argument that he is more natural at point than Bobby Frasor as well as being quicker and more adept at penetrating the lane. That being said, if Lawson wants to be dominant point guard he needs to learn to reduce his turnovers because the stats speak for themselves, Frasor is taking care of the basketball. In fact Frasor has committed exactly one turnover per game compared to the three per game from Lawson. This is not to say Lawson is not going to get there. I have maintained from the beginning that Lawson needed somewhere in the neighborhood of 10 games before he was ready to start at point guard and so far that seems to be the case.
Notes from Roy Williams' Postgame Press Conference
- Danny Green did not play due to an ankle injury. Williams hopes he can go Wednesday against Gonzaga.
- UNC gave up 33 three point attempts of which seven were made. Williams is still not happy with the defense but pointed out that UNC is using 11 freshmen and sophomores so there will be a learning curve.
- Williams was pleased with the first half, but noted the second half was "sloppy" at times.